Once May hits, Montrealers let themselves believe that summer is really coming and so we go outside, a lot, with other people, in the streets and in the parks, at festivals and sometimes even to dance. This weekend, witness spring’s bloom in world-renowned dance, electronic arts, on-stage historic Montreal and movies and music made for dancing…
(art of music) Tap your feet to live beats at one of Montreal’s best art museums this Friday night: local funmakers Random Recipe (pictured above) play the Musée d’art contemporain’s Nocturnes Series, complete with a cash bar and entry to all of the Musée’s exhibitions from 5-9 p.m. And, psst, the secret deal here is: you can buy a regular ticket for $10 or buy the $15 Wired card, which gives you access to the evening’s festivities as well as entry to the museum, other Nocturnes events included, for a full year!
(electric arts) This year’s incarnation of international digital arts festival Elektra makes music visual, so get ready to open up not only your ears but your eyes to sights and sounds possibly never seen or heard before… Montreal Buzz blogger Sophie Naima Caird breaks the fest down for us, from roving robots to Herman Kolgen’s video travels into a dusty, dusty world and Kurt Hentschlager’s FEED, an immersive, fog-filled space of low frequencies and 3D strobe effects. And on May 6, check out a free screening of short films at 6:30 p.m. at the Cinémathèque Québécoise. Elektra runs to May 8 at various locations.
[slow dancin’] Much-loved Montreal grassroots dance stalwart Studio 303 brings people close together, with their Slow Dance party fundraising event on May 7 at 8 p.m. Lean your head on the shoulders of a great contingent of “celebrity” designated dancers, fill up you dance card (yes, there are dance cards!) with the names of friends and strangers, and dance the night away – with a few dance performances here and there for inspiration and a fast-dance party after 11 p.m. At Studio 303.
[comic give-away] Comic books aren’t just for kids and nerds – any kid or nerd will tell you that, but it’s actually true! How many Hollywood movies have caught on to the fact in the past several years? The proof is in the profit. Free Comic Book Day brings us back to basics on May 7, reaching out to people unfamiliar with the wide world of comic books – what better way to do that than with free stuff? Here in Montreal, Drawn & Quarterly bookstore on Bernard gives away tons of free comics, requisite juice and cookies and even sets up a high-end colouring session for kids, nerds and non-kid, non-nerd curious. Fun times! And, yes, of course there’s an app for that.
(sounds like dance) Agora de la danse collaborates with Danse Cité to see their season out in style. The 8th edition of Choeur et Chorégraphes explores the fusion of dance with voice and brings together great talents in Montreal’s dance and music community, including composer André Pappathomas and choreographers Louise Bédard, Frédérick Gravel, les Soeurs Schmutt, Daniel Soulières, Catherine Tardif and artist Marc Béland. Catch it May 6 (8 p.m.) and May 7 (4 p.m.) at Agora de la Danse (840 Cherrier).
(real Montreal, on stage) Travel the back alleys and peek into the daily lives of a Jewish immigrant community in Montreal in the 1920s in Lies My Father Told Me – the story of the connection between a young boy and his grandfather, who peddles goods around town in his horse-drawn carriage. This new musical adaptation of Ted Allan’s classic story (once told on CBC radio in 1954 with the voice of William Shatner), stars Theodore Bikel, Patsy Gallant and a cast of over 25 kids and adults, at the Segal Centre, to May 23. Also in English-language theatre, Daniel MacIvor’s Beautiful View gets into the nitty gritty of women’s close relationships, at Centaur Theatre, to May 22.
(step lively) After 30 years of innovation and crowd-wowing, La La La Human Steps celebrates at home with the North American premier of A Piece by Édouard Lock. Company founder and choreographer Lock sees 10 dancers – including Diana Vishneva, star dancer of the Kirov Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre – perform classic ballet techniques in Lock’s own style with precision and speed, spinning a tale of operatic love to live on-stage music. At Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts, to May 7.
(Africa, seen and heard) Pan African International film festival Festival Vues d’Afrique, brings the over 100 films from Africa and Creole countries to downtown Montreal, running to May 8 at the Gesù (1200 Bleury). And take in the many musical sounds of Africa all weekend at the Festival Musiques du Monde de Montreal, at Theatre Plaza (6505 St-Hubert) and Les Bobards (4328 St-Laurent), featuring Ivory Coast percussionist and guitar player Aboulaya Koné and his new project Bolo Kan.
[may weekend music] Talented and beautiful Israeli singer-songwriter Yael Naïm, who struck gold with her tune New Soul, featured in an Apple commercial, fills Metropolis with sensitivity on May 7. Olenka and the Autumn Lovers serenade with violins and Eastern European charm, with sometimes mellow, sometimes raucous klezmer-punks The Youjsh, May 7 at Divan Orange (4234 St-Laurent). For fans of “outsider” music and art, prepare to be blown away by this amazing triple bill and book launch at Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent Blvd.) on May 6.